Whitehorse Interstellar Rodeo, Edmonton AB, July 28
Published Jul 29, 2019Whitehorse's folky desert rock may end up as a soundtrack to our hot future at some point, but for the time being, the only thing they are saving through their music though is creative risk. There is no lack of talent between Whitehorse married couple Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet and they're not afraid to flaunt it during live shows.
For their set at Interstellar Rodeo, their energy was mighty, their command of their material laudable, Doucet's showcase of his valuable guitar stable (including a Gretsch White Falcon and Gibson Melody Maker —' "it's from 1956, before you ask") impressive, yet somehow there was a subtext of artifice to their performance. Despite some insightful observations from Doucet about the similar love/hate relationship people from his native Winnipeg share with Edmontonians regarding civic pride, perhaps their familiarity with the city and Interstellar Rodeo stage worked against them.
The band represent the tempo and temperament of trying to fit in to terrestrial commercial radio standards, and while this isn't a fault per se, it draws a line between where Whitehorse are and aren't willing to go artistically.
McClelland and Doucet may avoid colouring outside the lines too far sonically, but with both of them bouncing around, dressed in bright white, coming together for harmonies and darting apart for solos in a sort of calculated frenzy, they are experts at making a spectacle.